Later this week my religion class is going to be “debating” whether or not Jesus was born of a virgin. I of course am going to say he wasn’t, and as practice thought I’d run through my reasons here.
What I think it comes down to is probability. Which is a more probable explanation for crop circles?
A) Aliens with super advanced technology that allows them to travel MILLIONS of light years flew all the way to earth to secretly make patterns on farmer Joe’s field and leave without making official contact in broad daylight
B) Somebody is playing a prank on farmer Joe and made the crop circle like this.
Naturally, B is more probable, so what about the explanation for the “virgin birth of Jesus?”
A) An invisible being that created the entire universe decided to zoom in on earth, single out Mary, and send an angel to tell her that he had magically impregnated her with his son right before she was to be married
B) Mary became pregnant the same way everyone else always had, through sexual intercourse, right before her marriage, and knowing that the punishment for such an act was death by stoning decided to claim that god did it.
Again, B is more probable. Occam’s razor states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.
This is the point where I expect the christians in the class to pull what they believe to be the ultimate trump card, “Anything is possible through god!”
Let me ask you something. Is it possible that ships float because invisible mermaids hold them up? Yes, it is possible. But then we have two competing explanations for the same result, on one hand invisible mermaids, and on the other the entire field of ship design and science of buoyancy, which is observable and testable. “Anything is possible with god” is a slipper slope to all forms of ridiculous bullshit. Yes, ANYTHING is possible with god, but not PROBABLE. It’s possible that unicorns exist. It’s possible that all pigs could grow wings overnight and fly, it’s possible that there won’t be a sunrise in the morning, but none of these things are at all probable.
This is where I assume the argument ends, yet there is something else I might come up against. One of the christians might become so desperate as to try and say that we can’t trust observation as a way of gaining information. For example, they might say that we can never KNOW for certain that a ball will fall if we drop it. They will admit that a ball has always fallen when dropped, and that the theory of gravity explains this, but we can’t 100% KNOW it will happen again in the future.
Basically this person is advocating that since we can’t know anything to absolute certainty, we should just believe something stupid, regardless of the amount of supporting evidence the opposite side has. There is a really good/short video that explains this here
One should also take into consideration that there is precedent for Mary’s claim. The Pharaoh Amenkept III, Ra, Perseus, Romulus, Mithras, Krishna, Horus, Melanippe, Auge and Antiope all claimed to be born from virgins. Plus, Mary, being Jewish, would have know the prophecy about Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14. What’s more likely?
Yet I expect some people to say “well it’s a matter of faith, and I choose to believe it.” Well fine, as long as you acknowledge that you’re purposely believing in something that has been demonstrated to be ridiculous in impossible, and to that extent you should not be considered a rational adult, nor be taken seriously as such.